Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys / Former Prosecutors
Call 801-449-1409. We fight to protect your rights.
Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

Criminal Defense Solutions Start HereSM

Finding a Felony Defense LawyerChoosing a Misdemeanor Defense LawyerDrug and Alcohol Crimes Defense LawyerWhite Collar Defense Attorney for Utah ChargesAttorney for Expungements Reductions and PardonsDefendant Constitutional Rights Criminal LawyerBail and Bond Alternatives in UtahReasons for Hope Facing Criminal Charges

What is a "search" under the Fourth Amendment?

The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. In a criminal defense case, a judge may order evidence suppressed if the court determines that police acted in violation of a defendant's Fourth Amendment rights. But not all police searches will be viewed as unreasonable. And not all police conduct necessarily qualifies as a search.

The United States Supreme Court in the case of United States v. Jones addressed the question of what constitutes a "search" for purposes of a Fourth Amendment motion to suppress. If you are facing criminal charges in Utah and believe that your Fourth Amendment rights have been violated by an unreasonable search, an experienced criminal defense attorney can help give you the best chance of successfully defending your case. Based in Salt Lake City, Stephen Howard provides legal services to clients throughout the state. Contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation.

United States v. Jones

The existence of a search by police is a preliminary question in the analysis of many potential motions to suppress. The question of whether police conduct constitutes a "search" is not always a black-and-white question. The United States Supreme Court issued an opinion on January 23, 2012 in the case of  United States v. Jones that may dramatically affect how Utah courts address the concept of a "search" in the context of Fourth Amendment violations in Utah criminal defense cases.

For most of our country's history, the concept of a "search" under the Fourth Amendment was interpreted by the courts as being tied to the common law idea of trespass. However, in 1967, the United States Supreme Court, in Katz v. United States, stated that "the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places." The Katz opinion held that for government action to be considered a "search" under the Fourth Amendment, a person must first have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the place or thing searched. In making this decision, the court opened the proverbial door for police to potentially commit what would otherwise be considered a trespass, without violating the Fourth Amendment.

The Court's opinion in Jones clarifies (or perhaps reestablishes) that a Fourth Amendment "search" occurs either when government action violates a person's reasonable expectation of privacy, or when the government makes a physical invasion of a person's property for the purpose of gathering information. The Jones opinion thus broadens the scope of conduct that may be considered a "search" under the Fourth Amendment, and may make a motion to suppress a viable option in more criminal defense cases.

Finding a Criminal Lawyer in Salt Lake City, Utah

Utah Criminal Defense LawyerIf you are facing criminal prosecution in Utah and believe that the government may have violated your Fourth Amendment rights, you should contact an experienced Utah criminal defense attorney to discuss how a motion to suppress may help your case.  Based in Salt Lake City, criminal defense lawyer Stephen Howard has handled thousands of serious criminal cases in Utah.  Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and case analysis.

RELATED CRIMINAL DEFENSE TOPICS
Can police stop a person based just on a hunch?
Do police have to show a warrant before entering a home?
How do I find out if I have an outstanding arrest warrant in Utah?

Best Rating
Make a Payment to Your Account
Get Help Now
Name: Email: Phone: Describe your legal needs here:
I accept the disclaimer below.
Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this form. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be submitted through this form. By clicking 'submit' I am only requesting that I be contacted for the purpose of obtaining legal services.

This form protected by reCAPTCHA.

  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense Trial AttorneyNot Guilty - Client was charged with aggravated assault for alleged attack using broken bottle as a weapon. Despite the testimony of numerous prosecution witnesses, thorough defense investigation to support a self-defense claim resulted in acquittal by jury at trial.
  • Drug Crimes Defense Attorney Utah Dismissed - Client facing first-degree felony drug distribution charge and potential life in prison. Charges were based on allegations that client had sold drugs to an undercover police officer, then made a full confession. Successful mitigation work resulted in negotiated offer of misdemeanor plea-in-abeyance and ultimate dismissal of case.
  • Utah Expungement Attorney Salt Lake Davis Expunged - Client with prior conviction for violent felony was ineligible for expungement through the courts. A successful 2-step reduction restored expungement eligibility and ultimately led to the court's decision to grant the requested expungement.
  • Utah Burglary Attorney Dismissal - Client was charged with first-degree felony home burglary and facing potential life in prison. Defense analysis revealed flaws in prosecutor's case which led to abeyance agreement intended to lead to a full dismissal of the case.
Best Criminal Defense Strategy

Aggressive is good. Effective is better. The best defense strategy in any given criminal case can require in-depth analysis of the facts and a thorough understanding of applicable statutes, case law, and complex procedural and evidentiary rules. Having an experienced attorney on your side....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Finding the right criminal defense lawyer for you Utah criminal case will be one of the most important decision you make. Before hiring any lawyer, there are a number of important factors to consider. The person you select as your criminal defense attorney will be responsible to defend your case and protect your rights....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences - Utah Criminal Defense

In Utah, even a "minor" misdemeanor conviction carries the potential for jail time and significant fines. A felony conviction carries the potential of lengthy prison terms and the various consequences that come with being labeled as a convicted felon. Never plead guilty without first finding out....

Consequences »
Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Reasons to Hope

Never give up hope. Being charged with a crime is not the same as being convicted. And it is usually not the end of the world. While the consequences of a criminal charge can be serious, there are often several options and strategies for handling your case. Understanding your options and how an experienced criminal lawyer can help....

Reasons to Hope »
Home | Attorney Profile | Case Results | Criminal Code | FAQ | Legal Resources | Defense Strategy | Contact Us

Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

The materials in this website are intended for informational purposes only, and are not legal advice. Viewing or responding to materials in this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Read Full Disclaimer.